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Monday, November 13, 2006

Saha is becoming a vital striker

French striker is becoming important for Manchester United. And this time it was against Blackburn Rovers, scoring the only goal to get a tough victory.

When United coach, sir Alex Ferguson, is willing to allow Alan Smith to leave Manchester United on loan, the vital role to be played by Louis Saha in this season's title race was underlined here when the French international forward scored a really good winning goal while his partner Wayne Rooney squandered three incredible chances.

Indeed, Saha struck his eighth goal of the season, with an accomplished 63rd-minute hooked shot from six yards - a superb, predatory finish after Rooney, who had been denied for a third time by Brad Friedel from close range just a minute earlier, played a wide ball to John O'Shea whose centre was brilliantly turned across goal by midfielder Ryan Giggs.

We must say that Ferguson thought the performance praiseworthy: "Louis is in good form. He's a threat with good pace and power and he's a great balance to the squad.

"It was a feisty match with a lot of challenges and tackles, and a good result and a great performance by us because in the past we have come here and played better and lost - last season we scored three times and lost 4-3."

Finally free of injury, French striker Saha looks a devastatingly effective finisher, in stark contrast to the efforts of Rooney yesterday, although Ferguson's decision to allow Smith to leave Manchester, at a time when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is out injured and Saha and Rooney both have a long history of their own injury troubles behind them, looks a calculated gamble.

However, as long as Saha is in such form, Ferguson's hopes of continuing his team's impressive start to the season and maintaining the pressure on defending champions Chelsea look fine.

"The important thing is Chelsea have done fantastic the last two years, winning the league early on and making it difficult for us all," Ferguson admitted. "But at least this good start must give us a chance"

"A lot of things come into consideration. You've got to get through December, which is always tough, and by January you have a great idea of who's going to contest and who's going to be involved in relegation. That's a pivotal time. Hopefully, if we can keep our good performance and keep the injury situation low, we will be there."